Before I forget, I mustn't neglect to mention that last Monday I went into the city centre to see a screening of "Boyhood" at The Showroom. You may have heard of this film. It was the brainchild of esteemed writer and director Richard Linklater and it was shot over a period of several years from the summer of 2002 to the autumn of 2013. Linklater wanted to tell the story of a boy growing up and at its heart is the actor Ellar Coltrane who was seven years old when the filming started and eighteen when it ceased.
Originally, the film was going to be called "12 Years" but a re-think on this occurred when "!2 Years A Slave" took the movie world by storm last year.
I don't know about you but I get fed up of outlandish fantasy and films that contain killings or masterful detective work to solve a range of crimes. I want to see films that speak of real life and for most of us real life has nothing to do with murder or cops and that kind of cartoon drama. In my view, it is much more challenging to weave a drama that somehow mirrors people's experience of everyday life. Such a film is "Boyhood".
In a sense, not much happens in it. The central character Mason grows older - as do his birth parents played by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. They all have moods, they make mistakes, they get on with their unexceptional lives - somewhere in the deep heart of Texas. There's a gentleness and affection in the director's humane observation of these ordinary people. They are inevitably moving on because none of us can halt the march of time and at the end of the film we see Mason driving off to college and presumably his adult life with all of its potential and its pitfalls.
It's a very long film - two hours and forty five minutes running time. Afterwards, after a swift pint in "The Lord Nelson", I walked home along Ecclesall Road and by midnight there was very little traffic around so I did something I have never done before - walked right across the normally busy roundabout at Hunter's Bar. I have driven round that traffic island a million times but this was the first time I had walked upon that grassy oasis or touched one of the massive stone gateposts that were once adjacent to an eighteenth century tollhouse, long before the road network in England was nationalised.
"Boyhood" - a great film if, like me, you prefer believable tales of real life.